The Apache, Black Hawk, Comanche, Cheyenne, Chinook, Kiowa, and Lakota.
Ask anyone in the military what these names mean to them, and they are likely to give you a stream of descriptive terms along the lines of: powerful, strong, and unmatched.
These are the names of helicopters our military uses in war. They save lives, and across all armies, nothing compares. Their pilots are some of the most skilled in the U.S. military and, therefore, the world.
But to the managing editor of the Boston Review, Simon Waxman, the use of Native American tribe names for military helicopters is a shameful injustice, perpetrated by the American government. Say what?
Cashing in on the loud opposition to the Washington Redskins' team name, Waxman wrote an editorial for the Washington Post in which he argues that the government is essentially shoving the unjust conquering of Native Americans right back in their faces.
It is worse than denial; it is propaganda. The message carried by the word Apache emblazoned on one of history’s great fighting machines is that the Americans overcame an opponent so powerful and true that we are proud to adopt its name. They tested our mettle, and we proved stronger, so don’t mess with us.
In whatever measure it is tribute to the dead, it is in greater measure a boost to our national sense of superiority. And this message of superiority is shared not just with U.S. citizens but with those of the 14 nations whose governments buy the Apache helicopters we sell. It is shared, too, with those who hear the whir of an Apache overhead or find its guns trained on them.
I wonder if he asked a single Native American how they felt about our government bestowing such an integral part of our military with the name of their tribe. Would they be offended?
This latest attempt at political correctness takes Harry Reid's Redskins ramblings to a new level. At this point, white guilt has prompted bleeding hearts to scrutinize anything with a Native American name - even if it's named so in tribute to them.
As the Native American population dwindles across the country, we should honor and remember the people who inhabited this country long before Europeans arrived. And by naming our toughest war-fighting machines after their tribes, that is exactly what the U.S. military is doing.